As a bit of a noob to the Trials series (having only played Trials Fusion and multiple Trials games on Phone), I didn’t really know what to expect from Trials Rising.  What I knew from what I saw at E3 2018 excited me. I was curious to see just what RedLynx and Ubisoft had done differently with this game compared to its predecessors. After spending many hours in the game and exploring as many features of the game I possibly could, I can safely say that this latest instalment into the Trials series is a smash hit!

Turn Down for What?

Lots of games have lackluster soundtracks nowadays. It seems that the art of mixing music with unique gameplay and story is something that has gone missing in today’s gaming world. Luckily, Trials Rising offers players a mix of awesome hip-hop and rap songs that tie in perfectly with what you are experiencing in the game. What I love about the soundtrack is that embraces both smaller artists and the bigger names in the industry as well. Some of the guys I listen to are in the game, which is great to see. Trials Rising mixes a perfect balance of that insane action you would expect to see in a Trials game with insane stunts and music that just makes you feel unstoppable. Until you break your back from a 300-foot drop, that is.

I like to think that music in a game paints the picture for the rest of the gameplay and story to follow. Without the right mix of music, a game can feel hollow at best and, at worst, a chore to play. Here, it’s a perfectly mixed barrel of music, gameplay, stunts, and of course, Trials action.

Prepare to BAIL OUT!

Trials Rising does an amazing job at quickly and easily introducing you to the game and how it works. The main teacher in the game is a bloke calling himself Professor FatShady. Yep, I know. Great name, right? This dude shows you the ropes and all the techniques needed to progress through the first couple of stages and eventually through the whole game. Your character is always returning to the Trials academy for more training to improve in the harder stages of the game. From how to land on upslopes and not proceed to crash, to performing tricks in mid-air to complete contracts, the Trials Academy is a place all players should go from time to time to brush up on their skills.

Contracts

The Contracts are another thing that makes Trials Rising stand out. Albeit a bit confusing to start with, contracts basically have you completing quests and assignments for sponsors like Fox, Ubisoft and many more. Contracts allow you to unlock skills, bikes, stickers and even clothing. Some contracts are specific to certain tracks and must be completed before progressing. The main issue I had with these contracts was that they were not introduced very well. At the beginning of the game, I was unsure if these contracts were even needed to progress or if they were even worth the time. One thing I would suggest Ubisoft do is to introduce these a bit better and explain to the player what these certain sponsors can help you achieve.

In all races (including challenges), you are always competing against either ghosts or real players’ previous lap times. This makes the player feel like there is a sense of deeper competition involved, allowing for a more genuine feeling race or track. Each time you complete a race, your time is recorded and will be posted on the leaderboard. Each time a new player beats your time, you are advised of this and are then given the chance to re-complete the track to try and beat the new record holder.

It’s not all Sunshine and Rainbows

During my hours of playtime with Trials Rising, I did notice a couple of strange and frustrating elements that I think could have been improved.

First up, challenger and vehicle crates. These crates are basically what you get when you level up and or complete a challenger event. It’s not so much the crates themselves that I have the issue with but more so the stickers that you get a lot of the time when you open these crates. I could not figure out what these stickers were used for or even why they were in the game. I mean, sure, if you could place them on your outfit or bike wherever you wanted, that would have been a cool element. However, I could not seem to do this. Now, I am not sure if I was just missing the whole point of these stickers, but they just seemed to be some sort of unlockable element that serves no real purpose.

Another small gripe that I had with Trials is the number of tracks and challenges per track. Usually, depending on which area you are, you usually revisit the same track around three times while in an area. This isn’t a major flaw with the game, but one that makes the world feel a little too small. I would have liked to see a couple more courses per area.

The same can be said for bikes as well. There are around six or so bikes you can unlock throughout your playthrough and each has a different capability. The first bike you unlock is a mid-tier, light two stroke dirt bike. The second one is a heavier (harder to do tricks with) four stroke bike that has a bit more power. The amount of time you spend with each bike is the issue I have. In previous games, you could unlock bikes a lot faster than Rising. More bikes that are easier to unlock would be nice to see. Once again, this isn’t a major issue, but one that brings the game down ever so slightly.

Gameplay, you ask?

No Trials game has ever been known to have a great story (or even any story at all) so I wasn’t really expecting a whole heap when I started Trials Rising. As per my hunch, Trials Rising doesn’t really have a story apart from be the greatest Trials Rider in the world. You travel the world with your sponsors and complete races, champion events, challenges and even movie shoots.

The general gameplay of Rising feels very on point. What I mean by that is, everything is very accurate. Each bike controls differently, each track poses its unique challenge and even weather conditions play a small part. The first couple of times I played Rising, I remember feeling like I really loved it. Around the third or fourth time was when I really felt like I was a pro at riding Trials Bikes. Like I could go out into the real world and conquer anything it had to throw at me. Everything felt slick and easy to handle.

This is no Trick

Tricks feel intuitive and are easy to perform. Just tilt your left stick to the left or right to perform a back or front flip. Easy as that! The more you play through Trials Rising, the harder each track becomes. However, I never felt like the game was too hard. Everything is balanced in just a way where, through enough concentration, you could easily complete any track the game throws at you. I never felt like tracks were too easy either.

Rising does a fantastic job at placing the player right where they need to be and introducing them to the tracks and controls slowly and intuitively. I, unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to play through any of the Multiplayer in the game as I was unable to find any matches. This wasn’t that much of a downer as I was more than occupied playing through the single-player mode and feeling like a god on the track.

CONCLUSION

Overall, Trials Rising has a lot to offer, I found myself spending loads of hours just grinding through tracks and listening to awesome music while I was at it. From challenging courses and challenger events to filming movies while performing 12 backflips at once, Trials Rising offers the player just enough crazy to draw them in and keeps them occupied by making them feel like a racing god. This is by far one of my favorite Trials games to date. Definitely pick this one up if you want to spend a couple of hours at a time being a stuntman. After all, it is only US $34.99.

For more reviews, stay tuned to OpenCritic.com

THE GOOD
Fantastic Music
Intuitive Tutorial
Pure Joy To Play
I AM A GOD!
Perfect balance in difficulty
THE BAD
More Bikes Please
Stickers? What do they do?
Challenges were a bit confusing
8.5
Great

Review Summary

A perfect blend of challenge and ease, Trials Rising offers a lot to the player. Pick this one up if you can!

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